How to use solar panels during a power outage

How to use solar panels during a power outage

Solar panel systems are a great way to generate electricity using renewable energy. However, most households remain connected to the main power grid even when having solar panels, which is why they can face blackouts during a power outage.

Despite the fact that it sounds counterproductive to get solar energy if it does not work during an outage, most solar panels are planned this way for safety reasons.

Fortunately for us, there are different ways to have backup power for a grid-tied system, even if your home typically runs on a solar system. Keep on reading to learn more about how solar panels work during a power outage and how to keep a grid-tied solar system powered at all times.

How to use solar panels during a power outage?

During a power outage, you may still utilize your solar panel. There are a few different approaches to doing this. The four most available options are mentioned below:

Off-grid solar system

When it comes to an off-grid solar panel system, you’ll need enough batteries to store enough electricity to carry you through overcast days and the night. As a result, the cost of an off-grid solar panel system is significantly higher than that of a grid-tied solar panel system. As a company owner or a household, you may not consider an off-grid solar panel installation to be a substantial investment.

Furthermore, you will not be able to draw power from the primary grid since your solar system will not be able to generate an adequate quantity of electricity and energy, and the stored energy will have to be depilated.

The off-grid solar panel system, on the other hand, will provide you with total energy independence. This means you’ll be able to use your solar panels even if the electricity grid is down. In most cases, an off-grid solar panel system is an ideal choice for buildings in rural places where a grid-tied solar panel system is unavailable. Installing an off-grid solar panel system as an individual with a rural cottage will be a wise venture.


  • The off-grid solar panel system is a great choice for families without power, especially in isolated places where grid-tied solar panels aren’t available. This approach is regarded as much more economical in a rural place than having power installed in your house.
  • You may make your house energy self-sufficient with an off-grid system, which is made feasible by batteries that help store energy for later use. You may improve the security of your house by having an appropriate energy supply. The best aspect about adopting this system is that because it is self-contained, you will not be affected by power interruptions.


  • They are more costly
  • Batteries are needed to provide them throughout the day and night. They need regular maintenance and can degrade over time.
  • Energy consumption has to be gradually reduced
  • Extra energy generated can go to waste

Battery-Backed Solar Systems

If you want to save money with solar panels, a grid-tied solar panel system is an excellent choice. You should also think about having backup power in case the grid goes down; you can do this by installing a system that helps you store energy. The nicest aspect about adopting this system is that, unlike an off-grid solar panel system, it does not require as many batteries, making it considerably more economical.

When employing this setup, you will just need to install one or a couple of batteries to assist store the unused energy generated by your solar panel. This means you’ll be able to draw enough power from your batteries without endangering utility personnel who are trying to fix the energy system problem.

If a battery-backed solar panel system seems like the right solution for you, it’s important to be aware of its limits. Solar batteries are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, but they are still prohibitively expensive for most companies and houses. Furthermore, they may significantly increase the cost of a solar panel installation. A 9.8 kWh battery, including installation, costs around $15,000 before incentives, according to a general rule of thumb.

As a result, many solar installers will advise you on picking a few essential components that will assist you in providing electricity. Medical equipment, emergency lights, personal electronic gadgets, and freezers, among other necessities, might be among these goods. Installing enough batteries to keep their businesses or residences working normally for a few days would cost far more than most people are prepared to spend.

You, on the other hand, require electrical backup and are unwilling to spend a lot of money on batteries. Backup generators are typically a cost-effective choice, so you might want to reconsider employing them. You’ll need a few hundred or thousands of dollars to buy one at your local hardware shop, but it’ll be invaluable in keeping your business or house running smoothly. Generators, on the other hand, often require fossil fuel, which is not only nonrenewable but also difficult to get in an emergency or after a natural catastrophe.


  • When compared to an off-grid system, the hybrid solar panel system is far less expensive to install and maintain. You won’t need a backup generator with this setup, and you’ll be able to lower the size of your battery.
  • Even though most households do not have a hybrid system, it has a lot of promise. It is without a doubt one of the most effective transition methods to future smart grids.


  • The cost of energy storage is quite high and can quite easily increase the cost of your solar PV system 
  • Batteries require maintenance which includes topping with distilled water and cleaning the terminals

Solar Generator

Solar Generators are transportable solar-powered battery storage devices that can be used as a power source for your home and various appliances. With the advancement of technology today there are larger solar generators available in the market that can provide power backup for your entire home. Your generator needs to have the capacity to generate 5000-10000 watts of energy to power your home.

So how does the solar generator work? Solar photovoltaic panels absorb the sunlight and convert it to electricity which is then voltage controlled and guided by the charger controller. Next, the electricity flows into the battery where it is stored. Generally, solar panel generates a lesser amount of energy which is stored in the battery and then supplied to your home.

The power generated by any solar generator is DC power which is converted to AC power using an inverter before supplying to your devices. In case of a power outage, your solar generator can utilize the energy stored in the battery to supply power for your home.


  • Cost-effective with no extra charges on electricity or fuel.
  • Very low maintenance and easy to use.
  • Environmentally friendly and also sound-free.


  • Limited energy supply depends on the size of your battery.
  • Slower recharging process.
  • Solar generators for an entire home can be expensive.

Hybrid Inverter Solar System

A hybrid system is when your solar panels remain connected to the grid’s power lines but also have a battery system to store excess power. The thermal energy from the sun captivated by the solar panels passes by way of an inverter to create functioning electricity. From there, electricity can go to your home, to your battery, or to the grid. 

The benefit of a hybrid solar system is that you will always have power in any situation. The extra energy created by your solar panels with will be stored in the backup battery.  So, this battery will supply power during blackouts or adverse weather. 


  • Less dependent on the grid
  • Hybrid inverters have backup power capacity which can supply power in all situations. It allows consumers to consume power from the grid, battery, or solar.
  • It can supply power during blackouts.


  1. The overall cost is higher with a complex installation system.
  2. Battery replacement increases the maintenance cost.

Why Will Most Solar Panels Not Work During Power Outages?

During a power outage, your grid-connected solar power system is obliged to be shut off by law. The explanation is that repairmen working on fixing the electrical wiring may be electrocuted if any solar power travels back from your home to the main grid.

As a result, when there is a power outage most solar panels will also not supply electricity. However, your solar power system will resume function during the daytime when the power is restored to the grid.

How to power through a blackout

How to use solar panels during a power outage exactly? You will be able to power through blackouts using a clean and dependable approach if you can afford a battery-backed solar panel system. This is a fantastic approach to having complete control over your energy storage. Whenever your solar panel creates surplus electricity, you will be able to store it in your battery during a power loss, allowing you to utilize it to power your house or company during blackouts.

Although generators are dependable sources of electricity or provide a temporary solution during a power outage, they frequently use polluting fossil fuels. Rather than reducing your carbon footprint, you will be releasing more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Solar panels, as opposed to generators, assist reduce carbon footprint since they generate power from sunshine and create no greenhouse gases. Furthermore, with a solar panel, you will be able to store a large amount of electricity for usage in the event of a power outage.

You will be able to disconnect from the grid while employing a battery-backed solar panel setup. Across the United States, grid electricity is on the decline. Outages and blackouts can be disastrous if you don’t use renewable energy sources like solar or wind. Fortunately, there is a solution; when the utility builds new infrastructure to enable sustainable energy and solar-powered battery storage, the likelihood of blackouts will be eliminated.

You may also think about storing extra electricity in your batteries for use during power disruptions. This is recognized as a highly dependable and ecologically beneficial method; you will be able to drastically reduce your carbon footprint.

However, if you are using grid-tied solar paneling, there is no way you will have power due to safety issues. For example, if your garage door is powered by solar, it will not work. On a side note having a solar-powered garage door opener is quite a trend right now. To know more follow the link to the article.

Read More: Do Solar Panels Make Noise?


This is how to use solar panels during a power outage. The off-grid solar panel system does not experience any power outages, making it appear to be the greatest alternative; yet, it is by far the most expensive system when compared to the battery-backed and grid-tied solar panel systems. The pros and limits of each system will help you decide which system is ideal for you. We hope that this information has been of great assistance in determining how to use solar panels in the event of a power outage.


1. Can a house run on solar power alone?

Answer: Yes, a house can run on solar power alone. But, going off-grid entails a large monetary investment. Depending on the amount of energy you consume in your house you need to design your solar power system.

2. How much do solar panels cost for a 2000-square-foot house?

Answer: The average cost for installing solar-powered panels in a 2,000 sq. ft. home is between $15,000 and $40,000. However, there are many tax rebates and other facilities that can reduce your cost.

3. How many solar panels does it take to run a house off the grid?

Answer: A regular American home is calculated to consume about 11000 kilowatt-hours in a year. Based on this it can be said that roughly thirteen solar panels would be needed to power a home of about 2000 sq. ft.

Key Takeaways

  • Solar panels can provide power during power outages.
  • Going totally off-grid will ensure a power supply even during grid power outages.
  • Adding a backup battery or solar generator can provide power during blackouts.
  • Hybrid solar power system can also provide power at all times.

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